Birth pangs for CWCs in State

Selection of Saathi and Bosco irks activists

The selection committee is formed in accordance with Rule 91 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007. What has irked many child rights activists is the selection of Saathi and Bosco, as two organisations in the NGO category. Even though Both Saathi and Bosco have a long history of working in the field, many activists feel that their stance is pro-government.

Many activists perceive the resignation offered by several members of the CWCs owing to political interference, as a move directed by the government to install people sympathetic to their stance, in their place.

A child rights activist complained that the selection of Saathi and Bosco to the CWCs was unethical. “The two organisations should have withdrawn their names soon after the announcement of the list. There are plenty of organisations that are working in the field of child welfare. Why were those organisations not considered for selection? the activist questioned.

South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) is now planning to file an RTI seeking details of the appointment procedure.

Exclusion of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) from the Committee has led to resentment among the activists group. According to rules a member of KSCPCR or the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) or Women’s Commission should be part of the Committee. Now, a member of the SHRC is part of the Committee. This has led to wonderment among the activists as KSCPCR, an exclusive wing created for the protection of child rights has been completely ignored in the selection process.

KSCPCR Chairperson Nina Nayak declined to comment on the selection process
“Chosen members of CWC should sign a code of conduct and should be made familiar with the Juvenile Justice Act. In addition to this an aptitude test should be held to know if they are suited for the post,” she said.

Nina Nayak also added that the government should sign an employment contract stating the emolument, as most committee members have not been paid Rs 500 per sitting.
KSCPCR has also insisted that CWC members declare their assets.

Activists are watching whether the Committee is once again going to appoint retired officials to the posts, which they believe would be disastrous.

The selection committee had their first meeting on Thursday to discuss the procedure for selecting the candidates.

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